Cinema’s answer to a picture-postcard rack, the franchise operates solely on the premise that audiences will return so long as the cast is appealing, the location enticing, and the romantic subplots not too demanding. I liked it better when they called it The Love Boat. For once, the multiple plot lines blend together, effectively eliminating the need for chapter stops. Normally with a dozen directors to choose from, one or two of the shorts would automatically rise to the top. Not even Paolo Sorrentino (Il Divo, The Great Beauty) can muster more than a cute one-joke reversal in the time allotted. Nor do I remember as many saccharine musical interludes in the previous two installments. And countless shots of the Christ the Redeemer statue notwithstanding, for all we’re told about the titular location, they might just as well spread the love in Jersey. With Emily Mortimer, Harvey Keitel, and Wagner Moura. (2014) — Scott Marks
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